Collaborators in this issue

Baja California Sur
Debra Valov
Nohel Martínez
Agustín Bravo Gaxiola

Baja California
César Angulo

California & Ontario
Talli Nauman

Fabián Carvallo Vargas

Jorge Mercado
Denisse Sugey López Moroyoqui
Dulce García Casarrubias
Rafael Ceballos

Sinaloa & Nayarit
Máchangeles Carvajal

Editorial Board
Talli Nauman (San Ignacio, B.C.S.)
Debra Valov (Mulege, B.C.S.)
Griselda Franco Piedra (Guaymas, Son.)
Miguel Ángel Torres (Aguascalientes, Ags.)
Soyna Daniels (Hermosillo, Son.)

Consultants Vol. 3, No. 2
Ernesto Bolado, Dahl McLean,
Silvia Susana Sánchez

English Translations
Debra Valov
Jim Morgan
Anne Shapiro
Wendy Hill
Frank Gray
Ken Green

SuMar - Voces por la Naturaleza, A.C.; Fondo de Acción Solidaria, A.C.; Green Grants;; Colegio de Bachilleres del Estado de Sonora; Dennis Peterson

Debra Valov; Mulegé, B.C.S.



Meloncoyote logotipo

Meloncoyote is a product of Journalism to Raise Environmental Awareness (abbreviated PECE in Spanish), an independent communications project founded in 1994 with the support of the MacArthur Foundation. The viewpoints expressed are solely those of the authors.

This work may be reproduced in part or whole, with images and illustrations, as long as the publication source and authors are cited.

We have reached the end of the six-year presidential term in Mexico, and the end of the four-year presidential term in the United States, as well as the end of the Mayan calendar, and the beginning of the much-heralded Age of Aquarius. We find ourselves in an avalanche of significant changes.

A year ago, in late 2011, here at Melóncoyote, we observed that the world as we knew it would come to an end in 2012 due to international movements with the power to transform the current world order.

Now we welcome the year 2013 with the satisfaction of knowing that our team has been part of this change by informing our readers of opportunities to participate in the processes and decisions that affect our ecological and economic setting.

From their towers of government, powerful men have benefited from investments channeled to construction projects imposed against the will of the communities in the Gulf region. But in the end, these cement monuments built at the whim of this or that official, are not even operational.   A case in point isthe Acueducto Independencia in Sonora.

Meanwhile, we can boast of our participation in successful efforts favoring sustainable development, as illustrated in this, our eighth edition. Civil society has:

Along with the suspension of these harmful projects, we also saw the progress  of environmentally friendly endeavors, some of which are showcased in this issue: reforestation by students in Ciudad Obregon; a bilingual guide for a nature hike in San Ignacio, BCS; and the start of binational collaboration to end improper recycling of U.S. batteries with its and the resulting lead contamination in Mexico.

While the number and magnitude of these achievements may be impressive, much more still must be done to protect the fragile deserts, coastlines, water, and health of the people of the region.

We hope to continue to expand our successes and to make our small contribution by focusing public attention on the options available in northwest Mexico and the U.S. Southwest that are based on the conservation of resources rather than on waste, squandering, and destruction.


Our project dates back to 1994, when “Journalism to Raise Environmental Awareness” (abbreviated PECE in Spanish) was formed. In 2004, PECE played a role in the founding of the national professional organization The Mexican Environmental Journalist’s Network. In 2005, when we started the first grassroots journalism project in the Gulf of California, our team chose the name Melóncoyote because it is a species emblematic of the region at the heart of our mission.

The Coyote Melon, known in Spanish as melón coyote or calabacilla (which includes the species Cucurbita palmata, C. cordata, C. digitata and C. foetidissima) is a wild perennial gourd that is resistant, versatile, beautiful, useful and native to the sandy soils that characterize the Gulf of California zone. The coyote melon is found in the region’s seven states: Baja California Sur, Baja California, California, Arizona, Sonora, Sinaloa, and Nayarit. A vine, Coyote Melon has an immense root that guarantees its survival against hard times while its long stems serve to anchor the soil in fragile areas.

The indigenous peoples of the area, bearers of the region’s traditional wisdom, describe the plant and how it is used. As medicine, it is bitter, but effective. As a musical instrument, it makes a beautiful rattle. Its seeds provide oil and a flour which contains a high level of protein. Its shell is ideal as a container for all matter of things. Because of all of these traits, and because it is an integral part of the food chain and one of the principal foods of the coyote, they named it “Coyote Melon”.

Our team of collaborators chose this name because it is a plant found throughout the region, and in doing so, we wanted to stress our intention to create a large-scale communications medium, capable of spreading (on a regional level) the news about efforts being made towards sustainability. With this symbolic name to represent our work, we are sending a clear message about our respect for the land and the sea, as well as for the ancestral cultures and customs of the region. We see the establishment of this medium for education and dissemination as something urgent, given the idiosyncrasies of the region. We have conceived this project as being an integral element of the environment, something positive like the Coyote Melon.

Faced with the challenges of growth in the region—a low population density, its recent political incorporation into the national government, a high degree of natural attraction and its proximity to the strong investment sector of the United States—we understand the implications of the pressures for development. Dealing with these challenges and pressures will require informed citizens who have the chance to participate in the decisions that affect their land, water, air, biodiversity and their future. We invite others to join with us, to participate in building this medium and to fight for a stable future for the region.

All work on behalf of Melóncoyote is voluntary.
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